September 26, 2014

Kiran Ahluwalia | Sanata : Stillness

ARTIST: Kiran Ahluwalia
TITLE: Sanata : Stillness
LABEL: Magenta
Indian-born, Canadian-raised, American-based singer Kiran Ahluwalia first came to the world’s attention as a premier singer of ghazals, Indian lyric poetry set to music. In recent years, she’s turned her attention to Tamasheq desert blues from the Sahara, collaborating on her last album with Tinariwen, Terakaft, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara. Now she has her own band (led by her husband and producer, the noted Pakistani-American jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi) playing the desert blues riffs: track 1 is her best effort in this style so far, I’d say. Track 3 is even more exciting – it’s the most natural, effortless Indian-Saharan fusion she’s produced, marking this album as another major breakthrough for this very ambitious artist. Track 2 starts out sounding as though it will be a straight Indian workout, but veers in an unexpectedly jazzy direction. And 6 is a classic Pakistani qawwali complete with harmonium and Ahluwalia’s soaring, melismatic singing, but accompanied by Abbasi’s desert blues-inflected soloing. Global fusion music gets a deservedly bad rap in many instances for turning a variety of ethnic ingredients into bland Euro-sausage; this album couldn’t be further from that case.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    3    6

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